Budget FY22: Government demands that SEZ taxes not be levied

LAHORE: The federal government has asked it not to cut taxes next year in businesses located in special economic zones under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

According to the budget document, the request was made to support businesses. It listed the SEZs as one of the key elements of the criminal justice system for the financial year 2021-22.

Commenting on the progress and implementation of the CPEC as a priority, the government said this, along with other factors on the list, would help boost the economy and create employment opportunities in the country.

He also said Pakistan has completed 17 mega projects under CPEC at a cost of $ 13 billion, while 21 projects costing $ 21 billion were underway. The government has also named other “smart” projects that cost $ 28 billion, which it says are part of the planning and implementation process.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has released its fourth-year budget control on Friday with a total of Rs8.5 trillion as it seeks economic growth after three difficult years.

Explaining his budget under Parliament on Friday, Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin said the government is selling money to SEZ as it seeks to make CPEC a platform for industrialization. He said this would also help boost Pakistani goods and create jobs. Tarin added that in addition to this the government will increase its “efforts” by promoting foreign exchange to foreign markets.

CPEC is said to be a major initiative in the China Belt and Road Initiative and connects Pakistani ports to China via highways and railways across all regions and territories in the country. CPEC, however, is not limited to construction, and many electrical services, including coal and hydel power plants, have been built under it.

Pakistan and China want to create nine SEZs across the country to strengthen industrial cooperation and increase economic opportunities in neighboring markets.

On Thursday, Lieutenant General (r) Asim Saleem Bajwa, head of the CPEC Authority, told traders in Islamabad that the government was now testing the SEZ’s ability at the federal headquarters to support local businesses. Speaking on the CPEC’s budget for the next fiscal year, he said 87 billion dollars would be allocated, while the government also expects to “increase Chinese spending”.

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